UAE has not officially announced any financial aid for Kerala flood relief: envoy

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UAE has not officially announced any financial aid for Kerala flood relief: envoy

We have not conveyed anything to India on any assistance,” says a senior official in the UAE Embassy in New Delhi.

No specific amount for financial aid to flood-ravaged Kerala has been finalised officially by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and there was no announcement on donation to the State, officials in the UAE Embassy in New Delhi said on Friday.

The clarification comes amid a row over accepting any foreign donations for flood relief.

UAE Ambassador Ahmed Albannam, without mentioning financial aid, said his government had only set up a national emergency committee to provide relief assistance to people affected by flash floods in Kerala.

“The UAE has not officially announced any financial aid for Kerala flood relief. We have not conveyed anything to India on any assistance,” said a senior official in the UAE Embassy.

He said the UAE may come out with its plan in the next few days to extend assistance to flood victims.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan earlier this week said the UAE has decided to extend a financial assistance of ₹700 crore to Kerala, considering the Gulf nation’s special relationship with Kerala.

Around three million Indians live and work in the UAE, out of which 80 per cent are from Kerala, according to official figures.

On August 18, Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum tweeted that his country has formed a committee for extending help to the flood-affected people.

“UAE and the Indian community will unite to offer relief to those affected. We have formed a committee to start immediately. We urge everyone to contribute generously towards this initiative,” he tweeted.

Policy followed by Manmohan Singh govt

Days after Mr. Vijayan said the UAE had offered to give ₹700 crore, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) made it clear that the Centre will not allow any financial assistance from foreign governments for Kerala in sync with an existing policy.

The MEA, however, said contributions to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund and the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund from NRIs (Non Resident Indians, PIOs (Persons of Indian Origin) and international entities such as foundations were welcome.

While refusing foreign aid, the government invoked a policy decision taken by the Manmohan Singh government in 2004 in the aftermath of the tsunami for not accepting foreign assistance.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Daily Report and is published from a The Hindu.)

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